Program and Registration
Tuesday 30 October
Wednesday 31 October
Thursday 1 November
Friday 2 November
1.00 PM EST
Project-based Learning: A Pathway to Language, Literacy, and Employability · Patsy Egan
In adult ESL settings, we not only develop students' language and literacy skills, but we also prepare them for college, the workforce, and deeper community involvement. It's a lot to do in limited timeframe and with limited resources! Project-based learning offers a way to organize instruction into meaningful units that is authentic, relevant, and results in a tangible product. It is an instructional 'basket' into which we can easily pack language development, English language arts and math standards, as well as employability skills. Join this webinar to hear more about using project-based learning in adult ESL classrooms!
3.00 PM EST
How can concept mapping help improve academic writing? · Alan Kennedy
Concept Maps were introduced by Cornell Professor Joseph Novak as a way to assess children's understanding of science with graphical tools to organize and represent knowledge (Novak & Gowin, 1984). Since then, they have been widely used and tested as pedagogical tools at all educational levels and in many different subject matters. Like other types of graphic organizers, they can be an effective tool in brainstorming, and are often used that way. For many learners, visualizing how to connect ideas in a written text can increase coherence and cohesiveness. Concept Maps have been shown to positively impact learners’ abilities integrate facts into written thoughts and apply them in a variety of situations. These are important skills for academic writing. In this session, we will review different ways to use concept maps and share feedback from my own EAP students.
1.00 PM EST
Getting EAP students across the finish line: Grammar and vocabulary for academic discourse · Jeanne Lambert
Academic English programs need to prepare students for college-level work. EAP students bring a wealth of knowledge from previous English study but may have limited experience with academic language. Join this session to find out ideas for focusing EAP curricula on the grammar and vocabulary needed for academic discourse. The presenter will offer examples of how to practice language that students can use for specific college-level topics and assignments.
3.00 PM EST
In the Market for New Vocabulary? Think Collocation, Collocation, Collocation · Larry Zwier
The words and structures that commonly occur with a target vocabulary item—that, its frequent collocates—are a top-priority in vocabulary learning. Collocational knowledge represents a giant step beyond the basic form-meaning relationship. Unfortunately for students, most dictionaries reveal only a little about collocations. This presentation takes a practical, usage-focused approach to a fuller form of collocational knowledge and introduces some easy-to-use, free resources.
1.00 PM EST
Kahoot!: Balancing Rigor and Engagement through Gamification · Katie Welch
Want to increase course engagement? Gamify! Even if video games are a foreign language to you, your class can benefit from gamification, the process of applying gaming principles to educational contexts, and can do so without sacrificing academic rigor in the process. We will identify gaming fundamentals that are proven to increase student engagement and that can easily be implemented in both online and traditional classrooms. We will then evaluate how the popular formative assessment tool Kahoot! utilizes these principles and offers an intuitive, low prep way to gamify your ESL classroom.
1.00 PM EST
Did I write that? Editing and revising
· Randi Reppen
As teachers we often face the challenge of helping our students apply what they have learned in our language courses to academic courses when they leave our programs. This is particularly true with academic writing. This webinar will focus on resources and ideas for teaching the essential writing skill of editing and revising. We will focus on resources and activities that can be used to more effectively help our learners meet the demands of one of the biggest challenges in academic writing – editing and revising.
3.00 PM EST
From talking to writing: A look at ideas for getting lower level students writing · Randi Reppen
Writing is challenging for any of us and particularly for our lower level students. This webinar focuses on ideas and strategies to get students writing (and enjoying it). We will look at a variety of activities that help students move from spoken to written language. These activities will help students gain confidence with their writing and help them to become more fluent.
3.00 PM EST
Differentiation by Design: Meeting Diverse English Language Learner Needs · Betsy Parrish
Multilevel classes are a reality of just about every English language program and should not be seen as a deterrent to learning. This session focuses on a systematic approach to differentiating classroom tasks and assessments to create an optimal learning environment for all learners. Keeping overall learning outcomes in mind, the content, learning process, or final products of a lesson or unit can be adjusted so that all learners can make gains in their language development in keeping with their abilities and needs. We explore concrete examples focused on particular language points as well as examples for reading, writing, listening and speaking. Strategies presented can be applied in secondary and adult education classrooms.
Patsy Egan, PhD, is the director of ATLAS, ABE Teaching & Learning Advancement System, housed in the Hamline University School of Education in St. Paul, Minnesota. Her teaching and research focus on literacy development and teacher education for adult learners, including adult basic education and English as a Second Language. As director of ATLAS, Patsy collaborates with Minnesota Department of Education staff on multiple projects focused on identifying, planning, designing, and evaluating the training and professional development needs of ABE/ESL administrators, teachers, and support services staff across the state. As a subject matter expert on the OCTAE ESL Pro project, Patsy authored the Companion Learning Resource on Meeting the Language Needs of Today’s Adult English Language Learner. Patsy was also involved in the OCTAE-sponsored initiative for the new English Language Proficiency Standards.
Alan Kennedy is a lecturer in language in the American Language Program of Columbia University, where he is also the coordinator of the department’s International Teaching Fellows program. He has been teaching in the American Language Program since 2006. He received an M.A. in applied linguistics from CUNY in 2009 and a TESOL Certificate from Columbia University in 2005. He is the co-author of the textbooks What Every Multilingual Student Should Know About Writing for College(2012), Final Draft 4 (2016) and Prism 3 (2017). His articles about academic English instruction and non-native speaker pronunciation of English have been published in education journals. Prior to teaching, Kennedy did international marketing work for the Warner Music Group for 13 years.
Jeanne Lambert has 20 years of ESL classroom, teacher training, and materials writing experience. She has taught at Columbia University, City University of New York (CUNY), and The New School, specializing in academic writing and English for Academic Purposes. She has worked as an ESL Methods Practicum instructor and currently teaches academic writing at The New School. She is the series editor of Final Draft, an academic writing series by Cambridge University Press.
Betsy Parrish is Professor in the MATESOL and TEFL Certificate programs at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota. She has worked as a language teacher, teacher educator, and consultant for over 30 years, with experience in the US, Bangladesh, France, India, Russia and Vietnam. She has participated in the development of state and national adult education standards focusing on college and career readiness. Her research centers around instruction that prepares English learners for success in today’s world. Her most recent book, Teaching Adult English Language Learners (Cambridge University Press), addresses the diverse needs of adult English learners and provides ideas on how to prepare all learners for the demands of the 21st century.
Randi Reppen is Professor of Applied Linguistics and TESL at Northern Arizona University (NAU) in Flagstaff, Arizona. She has over 20 years’ experience teaching ESL students and training ESL teachers, including 11 years as the Director of NAU’s Program in Intensive English. Randi’s research interests focus on the use of corpora for language teaching and materials development. In addition to numerous academic articles and books, she is the author of Grammar and Beyond, Using Corpora in the Language Classroom and a co-author of Basic Vocabulary in Use, 2nd edition published by Cambridge University Press.
Dr. Katie Welch has spent the last fifteen years bringing quality language education to Central and North Texas. She spent her early career teaching Spanish to kids in a variety of contexts and has since amassed a lengthy dossier in preparing ESL teachers for both adult and K-12 classrooms. Most recently, she completed seven years at the Emerging Teacher Institute at UNT-Dallas, equipping pre-service teachers to work effectively with ELs.
As an active contributor in the language education community, Katie serves as President of TexTESOLV, an affiliate of TESOL International that provides professional development to the DFW region. She led the Board of Directors as conference chair of the 2018 state ESL conference and has presented at numerous conferences nationwide.
Katie holds a B.A. in Spanish from Baylor University and a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Texas at Arlington.
Larry Zwier is Associate Director for Curriculum and Instruction at the English Language Center at Michigan State University in East Lansing. He holds an MA-TESL from the University of Minnesota, and his teaching experience includes university positions in Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Japan, Singapore, and the United States. He has written or edited many ESL/EFL textbooks, especially in reading and vocabulary. Larry enjoys the four basic skills (reading, writing, hiking, and snowshoeing) and is not likely ever to live south of 42 degrees north again.
For any questions surrounding the conference please email
Our Better Learning conference attendance is by invite only.
You should now have all your flight information, if this is not the case, then please do get in touch with us: firstname.lastname@example.org
All of our guests will be greeted at the airport, you should receive details via email over your airport transfers two weeks before the conference start date.
Once exiting arrivals at your London airport (after clearing immigration and collecting luggage) a representative will be waiting to collect you, they will be easily identifiable, as they will have one of our Better Learning Conference and Cambridge University Press signs, they will then drive you straight to Churchill College in Cambridge.
Download our immigration letter here.
All of our guests are staying at the Churchill College and this is where the conference is hosted.
Is one of the prettiest Cambridge University Colleges and set in spacious wooded grounds, just outside of the Cambridge city centre. There are local shops, restaurants and cafes close by for convenience.
During your spare time, outside of the conference programme, you may wish to explore the historic city centre and we will be happy to advise the best ways of doing this.
Look at the map ›
All of our guests are invited to attend our formal dinner at Churchill College. Dinner will be served at 19:00.
Dress code is smart/formal, but no need for black tie!
This will be a free evening for guests to spend as they wish
After lunch we have arranged to take our guests on a guided punting tour on the river Cam, to see the famous sights of Cambridge. There will also be some free time for guests to explore Cambridge themselves too (please note comfortable shoes are advised).
Monday 25th June
Tuesday 26th June